A New Teammate and Best Friend
Our family will be growing, and we aren’t talking about the latest addition of my son, Finn. After many years of being a cat family, we have finally committed to getting a dog. Up till now, a dog did not seem to fit in our life. We grieved for a while after losing our last dog Remington in 2013 and have hunted over our buddie’s labs ever since.
I spent many years mumbling about how our cat was making me soft and lamenting the lack of a dog in our life. The reality though was that we were also very busy – busy socially, with work, volunteerism and hobbies; we couldn’t commit to a dog in good conscience. As time moved on and our thinking turned towards a family, getting a dog became more of a realistic option. When we finally agreed to get one, we had decided on a yellow lab from a local breeder we found on the internet. We vetted him thorough a few friends and before we knew it had our deposit on a pup in the spring of 2018.
We were excited and nervous. However things started to turn south as the litter date approached. Communication with the breeder became sparse, and he was often difficult to get a hold of. In the end the deal fell through, with the breeder saying all his dogs ran away, including the mom. I had to be more assertive than I prefer to be when asking for my deposit back, followed by seeing the mom and dad on kijiji (same pics) with pups advertised for sale, and in the end we were pup-less. Thinking back on it, there were some definite warning signs, including the conditions he kept the dogs in and his apparent aloof approach to breeding. We aren’t completely sure where the truth lies, but we were pretty sad that we couldn’t get a puppy that we thought was going to fit with us.
This set-back slowed us from re-engaging in a puppy search and things were starting to pick up here at Panoramic, so it wouldn’t be several months before another fit emerged.
In the spring of 2019, we had our now friend, Graeme Crawford from Point Proven Kennels onto our podcast to discuss bird dogs and upland hunting. Graeme was a wealth of information and also ran a boarding service so I considered him a resource in many ways. I had sent him a picture of a German Wirehaired Pointer I had seen on Instagram and he replied immediately “call me”. Well, anyone who knows Graeme knows two things, he runs a couple beautiful Irish Setters in the field, Johnny Cash and June Carter, and he is also very passionate about dogs. After a not-so-quick phone call with Graeme, we were rather committed to a new litter he was helping to coordinate in the late season of 2019 or early 2020.
This time we felt more comfortable with our situation. It lined up well with our family planning, as we found out we were expecting a human baby on Christmas of 2019 and we also knew and trusted the breeder. I was even lucky enough to out on a couple hunts with the Chickenman himself.
Because of some complications with breeding research and timing, the litter got pushed back. This stressed us a bit as the expected litter date was very close to our due date for Finn at the end of August 2020 and having our first child and fur child come at the same time might have been a lot. Graeme was great though. He was easy to communicate with and helped us problem solve a lot of our concerns.
The litter landed up coming a little later at mid-November where the mom, Torrie, gave birth to 15 beautiful setters at the Schroeder family farm. We were all shocked and ecstatic, 15 pups was unreal and our new family member was here and we only had to wait eight weeks.
So, while we are still nervous about all the new responsibilities that come with being a dog owner and raising a puppy, we are in a much better place than that spring of 2018. We have had time to research training and dog-care techniques, we are getting a dog from a breeder we trust and can provide continued support for us, and we have been able to prioritize our family and home. Now, we can’t be more excited to share our journey of our new family member. He is expected to come to his forever-home January 10th. As a hunter I am thrilled to have a new hunting buddy to work with (training an upland dog will be new to me, but I feel supported. We actually have a robust and funny cohort of dog parents coming from this litter). As a father, I am cherishing the thought of my son and this pup growing up together. And as a partner in Panoramic, I am thrilled to be sharing our journey with this puppy with you here.
We may not get everything right, but we know the dog will be loved, cared for and have some fun. And thus, we will take it day by day, but be sure to check back here and follow us on Instagram @panoramic_outdoors for regular puppy updates.
One last picture